As I commented last night, our holiday to Nambia had got off to a bit of a bumpy start, as our supposed 9:40 Monday night plane broke down on the tarmac and we were finally allocated a couple of rooms at a nice hotel.
This was all very well but we were missing out on a day in Southern Africa: we didn’t want to chill out at Heathrow.
Luckily the next days replacement flight left promptly at 7:20, the passengers cheered, and we were on our way. It was a horrible night flight, I got very little sleep and DS had a night terror/ tantrum/ bout of painful legs for about 20 min at 3 am, which did nothing to endear us to the surrounding passengers.
We arrived in Jo’burg at before 7 and we had nowhere to go, nothing to do until our next plane left at 1:30, In desperation we rented a room with 2 single beds and shower room, so we could all have a wee catch up sleep and shower.
But when we left the room, we had trouble booking in to our flights to Windhoek. DH and DD1 went through okay, but the remaining 4 boarding passes were not to be found easily. Finally they surfaced and we trotted off to the plane.
The plane was parked way away form the terminal and we got a bus out to it. We didn’t have matching seats but we sorted it out as the plane was only half full.
The Air Namibia flight was the most relaxing part of the day, especially when the Air Hostess told us we didn’t need a landing card for the kids because they were under 12. It turned out she was wrong, and after queuing up for about an hour to get through Passport control, we found this wasn’t true and were sent back to fill in more cards for them and new ones for us.
The next drama was that one of our bag had disppeared. It was DD1′s bag with all the toiletries and the guidebooks in it. This included my SLS-Free stuff.
But finally we made it through to arrivals, where our driver helped us fill in the required paperwork and drove us to our Guest house in Windhoek. Our holiday organiser was there to go through the details of our trip with us, and then our car arrived.
I say car, but actually it’s a small minivan shaped like a brick. It’s also a manual which neither DH or I have driven for some years but 4 days later, we are both firmly back in the saddle. The first trip 10 minutes after being handed the keys, down to the local Pick and Pay to purchase toothbrushes and toothpaste, was the worse.
The nights accommodation proved very comfortable but alas, we had to move on to our next days Lodge in the middle of the Naukluft Mountains. However, first we had to find a local shopping mall and park the car packed with our stuff somewhere it wouldn’t get nicked. This accomplished, we gave ourselves an hour to replace all of DD1′s clothes, as many toiletries as we could and provisions for the 160km trip south. You may ask why we didn’t just wait to see if the bag didn’t turn up, but Windhoek was going to be the last big city we were in for almost a week; if we were going to replace them, it was now or never.
We failed miserably at our time challenge and gave up any idea of making it to our next Lodge for the day’s 2:30pm game drive. Besides dashing between clothes and food shops, DH and I had realised that we had completely forgotten to make any provision for car seats for our offspring. A quick phone call to the car hire company proved fruitless as they had none available but they told us to to buy what we needed, and they’d buy them off us when we returned the car. Buying car seats turned out to be more difficult than you’d think, but we finally found a shop that sold them and purchased a couple of high back boosters and a booster cushion.
Next, we found a petrol station, filled right up and paid someone to let the tyres down a little to make travelling on a gravel road easier and headed off into the mountains, really not 100% sure what we were letting ourselves in for.